Rabbi Berland
Rabbi Berland FLASH90

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the founder of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem and once a leading figure in the Breslov community, will be permitted to leave the country to visit the grave of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, a parole board ruled.

Berland, 80, fled Israel in 2013 after he was accused of sexually molesting two female followers.

Over the next three years, Rabbi Berland evaded extradition, travelling across Europe and Africa with a coterie of followers.

After his capture and extradition in 2016, however, Berland agreed to a plea bargain arrangement with Israeli prosecutors, pleading guilty to two counts of indecent acts and one case of assault.

Last November, Rabbi Berland was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but was released to a hospice five months into his sentence, where he could receive regular treatment for serious health problems he has suffered in recent years.

Ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday this week, the parole board granted a request by Rabbi Berland to travel to Ukraine for the annual pilgrimage at the tomb of the founder of the Breslov movement, Rabbi Nachman.

The annual pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman’s tomb in Uman, Ukraine has become a popular custom in recent years, particularly among Breslov Hassidim.

As a condition for his trip abroad, the parole board has ordered Berland to post a 740,000 shekel ($210,000) bond to ensure that he returns after the holiday, Behadrei Haredim has reported.

Two weeks after the Rosh Hashanah holiday, the parole board will reinstate the travel ban on Rabbi Berland, and require him to return to the Jerusalem hospice where he has resided since left prison due to an ongoing medical condition.